A Mixed Bag Of Terror In Josie And The Pussycats In Space #3

Could this be the end of Josie and the Pussycats? As terrifying as that might be, it looks to be the case for the iconic trio. We last left them waking up from cryo-sleep confused about the situation they are in. After Valerie finds a way to escape the room they are trapped in everyone and the crew decide to explore the ship. After witnessing a few creepy events and Melody’s panic attack the group finally finds the rest of the crew.

They come to find out that everyone else on board is dead and is now somehow apart of an alien creature. The trio is now face-to-face with the creature from beyond. What will happen next? Well, let’s not wait any longer and let’s join the Pussycats as they struggle to survive in space. Let’s take an action-packed trip out of the world with the Pussycats in Josie and the Pussycats in Space #3.

A Plot To Survive In Josie And The Pussycats In Space #3

This issue picks up right after the last issue where the survivors are about to be attacked by an alien creature. They all look in horror as the alien begins to attack and kill many of the survivors. Valerie gets the idea to attack the creature with electrical wires and saves a crew member that is now disfigured. The creature decides to keep attacking and Valerie has an idea. She decides to connect the wire she has to the metal walls of the ship to hurt the creature.

A terrifying encounter with the killer alien in Josie and the Pussycats in Space #3.
Credit: Josie and the Pussycats in Space #3, Archie Comics (2019)

As everyone takes a breath, a message gets through from Lieutenant Cabot’s rescue ship. He tells everyone to go into their ship rescue pod where he will save them. Josie and the Pussycats go inside the pod while the others look for the last survivors. Time goes by and Melody gets hungry. The gang decides to look for any food and help find the last survivors. Saving only two, the alien corners the group and attacks. The action-packed end to the issue will sadly not be spoiled here. But let’s just say someone is not who they appear to be. 

Horror, Comedy, Or Both?

After reading Josie and the Pussycats in Space #3 there are two questions that need to be asked. What is this? Is this comic a comedy, horror, or both? This comic is full of horror throughout, almost every panel has an eerie look reminiscent of classic horror movies like 1979’s Alien. With multiple action scenes fighting a man-eating monster in space, it works as a classic space horror comic.

Valerie's bright idea to stop the alien before he kills again in Josie and the Pussycats in Space #3.
Credit: Josie and the Pussycats in Space #3, Archie Comics (2019)

Then there are moments where the characters act comedically, a bit too comedic for the situation. For example, when Valerie saves everyone melody asks a question about the systems of the ship. As this is a valid question, it’s odd that she has a smile on her face, as if a monstrous creature didn’t just eat three crew members right in front of her.

Another Example Of Horor, Comedy, Or Both?

Another example deals with the group trying to understand how to spot an alien. As one crew member declares, they can be spotted with inferred. Captain Mayberry then tells everyone a fact that no alien would know. When he tells this to Melody she giggles and smiles like they aren’t in a life or death situation. It doesn’t make any sense, this comic feels horror themed but then has random flashes like these.

If this were supposed to be a comedy, it would be expected that there would be hilarious moments throughout especially when it’s terrifying. Having comedic moments in this series feels off and unnecessarily weird. How can anyone make jokes when people were eaten in front of you seconds before? It feels like they need to choose a side or find the right combination of the two genres. Right now, the comic’s writing feels a bit clunky at points.

A New Leader In Josie And The Pussycats In Space #3

Even though Josie and the Pussycats in Space #3 feels a bit clunky in places, the writers of the comic have a way with writing certain characters extremely well and others subpar. Starting with the good, Valerie is fantastic. Everyone needs an intelligent and brave woman like Valerie in their lives. She literally decides to hurt the creature using wires and metal walls.

She endangered everyone’s life and her own doing this move. It was astonishing to see how she protects the ones she loves. She even fights the creature one-on-one with a taser, making sure everyone gets to the rescue pod safely. She is written wonderfully here as a woman than can take charge. After this, the band should be Valerie and the Pussycats because she took control of the situation as a leader should.

Too Bubbly, It’s Creepy

From the good to the bad, Josie and the Pussycats in Space #3 solidifies that the writers don’t know how to write Melody. As she is known as the bubbly drummer she is written in this series as a very comedic character, which is fine. Just when surrounded by a terrifying alien there should be a time for jokes and at the moment of this issue, it’s not the time. In the last issue, readers got to see a different side of Melody. After a horrific experience Melody has a panic attack and shows that she is truly terrified. As this was a fantastic scene, it was confusing to see her more upbeat later in the issue. In this issue, she is so peppy it’s disturbing because the situation she’s still in has got worse.

The killer alien attacks the crew and possesses a crew member.
Credit: Josie and the Pussycats in Space #3, Archie Comics (2019)

The alien is eating people and attacking anyone it sees and she is cracking smiles and making small jokes here and there. She is not cracking jokes all the time, it’s enough to make the issue feel bumbling. In the last issue, she even states she smells death, it’s ominous and amazing. The art is incredible for that moment and could have set up an interesting plot point, but now she’s making jokes about being hungry. It’s unclear if maybe the artists may have gotten confused about how Melody’s expressions should be in these moments or if the writing is a bit off. She was being set up to be a very compelling character filled with depth, now she is just the one-note comic relief. Hopefully, this will change soon and her character could be explored further. 

Final Thoughts On Josie And The Pussycats In Space #3

After finishing this issue, I was filled with many mixed feelings. Mainly, I wondered what story this series was trying to tell. Does it fall into the horror category, comedy category, or does it fall somewhere in the middle? The first two issues felt more horror-oriented but this feels like the writer is trying to mix some more comedy and it doesn’t fit. Those issues also left room for them to have comedic moments. In this issue, horror elements are all over the place and the issue should have focused on the action. As it did, the comedy stuck out like a sore thumb. Don’t get me wrong, this issue is still a good read, but it again feels clunky at times. There are moments with great horror imagery that should give you some incentive to take a peek at the full issue.

The killer alien begins his attack by devouring a crew member in Josie and the Pussycats in Space #3.
Credit: Josie and the Pussycats in Space #3, Archie Comics (2019)

And the moments with Valerie are pure magic — she is now my comic ride or die character. Again, I can’t stress it enough that the comedy and Melody stick out a lot. With that, though, there is a ton of action and alien-fighting that will keep fans and readers entertained until the end. With the ending, though, I am interested to see where the series is going and I’m sure many others are thinking the same. Josie and the Pussycats are giving us an interesting ride through space. Even though there are bumps and rocks going through space I am hopeful that this trip will take the right turns and make it a fantastic journey in the long run.

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